5 New Year's Resolutions for Your Home

Every year when January rolls around you vow to lose weight, save money or spend more time with family and friends. But what goals do you set for your home?

In the spirit of new beginnings, HGTV has consulted the experts and come up with some resolutions that will make your home a more beautiful, efficient, clean and green place in the coming year.

Here are our five picks for the best home improvement resolutions for the new year and how to achieve them:

1: Streamline The Stuff
One of the best and least expensive ways to feel better about your home is to clear it of clutter. Each year most of us acquire a mountain of stuff. Without some regular purging, cabinets and drawers get jam-packed and it becomes hard to find the things you use and enjoy the most (all that clutter also makes your house look dated and dirty.

Stash useful (but not beautiful) items such as DVDs, remotes and those kicked-off shoes in simple woven baskets. Clear your counters of everything you don’t use on a daily basis. And get ready to breathe a little easier in your own home.

2: Make It Safe And Sound
Your home may be beautiful, but is it safe? There are a few things that every homeowner should do to ensure that they’re not living with a potential health hazard or fire risk.

Make sure you install a carbon monoxide detector on every floor, particularly near sleeping areas and attached garages. They should be placed at least five feet above the ground. Hardwired combination units (smoke and carbon monoxide are usually good for 10 years and include a battery back-upIf a chimney flue or furnace vent gets blocked or leaks, carbon monoxide could back up into your house and kill you.

3: Shrink Your Bills (And Your Carbon Footprint In The Process)
When people think of going green, they often think it takes solar panels or a hybrid car to make a difference.

The best place to start is by cutting your energy usage in your home:

  • Remember mom’s advice and switch off the lights when you leave a room.
  • Turn off your air conditioner when you leave the house and dial your furnace down to 18°C (64°F) at night.
  • Install LED bulbs and low-flow showerheads.
  • Air dry some of your clothes – save money and it’s better for the material in the long run
  • Turn off your power bars and/or set your home computer to revert to sleep mode when not in use.
  • Don’t water your lawn. Consider drought-tolerant landscaping this year
  • Give composting a try. Your garden will thank you.

4: Work Out A Weekly System For Keeping Your House Clean
Daily: Dishes go in the dishwasher every night – no excuses! Dirty clothes go in the hamper and jackets or clean clothes are hung in the closet. Bring everything back to its assigned place.

Weekly: Clean your entire house, using these tips:

  • Keep all of your cleaners, as well as rubber gloves and spare cleaning cloths – in a portable carryall that moves with you from room to room.
  • Focus on one type of cleaning at a time. Wipe down fingerprints on all of the cabinets, for instance, before moving on to spraying and wiping counters. Then move on to windows and mirrors and appliances. Once that’s done move on to sweeping and then mopping floors.
  • If you want to take it a step further, consider making your own cleaning supplies to reduce the amount plastic you bring into your home.

5: Get Your Place Ready For Entertaining
Each year most of us vow to spend more time with family and friends. To make you feel like inviting people in, why not give the areas you entertain in a little update?

One easy update that makes your home seem more “finished” is the addition of plants, and they’re easy to incorporate if you’re on a budget. A couple of dramatic presentations like a potted palm in a bright ceramic planter that complements your existing colour scheme can do the trick.

Pulling out a new accent colour from your existing decor can make an entire room seem fresh. Pick an underused colour in the room and add more of it in the form of a new pillow or throw to update your look. A colourful rug or runner can also help anchor the space.

Lastly, take some time to rearrange your furniture so it is oriented in conversation groups and not just facing the television. That just might up the chances for real conversation and connection in the New Year.

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